It’s been over a month since the dry year has ended and it’s time to say so long to this writing project and move on to the next. It is only right that I put into words what the last month has been like as it relates to alcohol. There have been some good times and one not-so-good time.

First the good…

I have enjoyed socializing at the holidays indulging in a vodka martini or some wine. I finally started to consume and experience the wine that I have purchased from Club W (my wine club) including a couple of nice wines from André Mack. My brother and his wife also brought me a bottle of my favorite potato vodka from Maine, Cold River. Honestly, martinis have never tasted so good.

I have also observed that the special novelty that I felt the first week of drinking faded quickly, and the act of having a drink at the end of the day is once again “normal.” By this, I mean the excitement wore off soon after commencing the drink ritual again. This is not really a bad thing. I am able to feel less attached to having drinks, especially when it looks like a long night at a party. In fact, my brother and I had a pact this year at the family Christmas party that we wouldn’t drink just in case anyone needed a designated driver. It did not feel like a sacrifice to make this decision. It felt good to realize that it isn’t a big deal to abstain at a party—I’ve had lots of experience with that sort of thing now.

Now the bad….

On December 1st, when I announced that I was going to have my first drink, many people warned me to “be careful” as my tolerance would be shot and I could “get really drunk.” I had experienced a small change in the amount that I could consume but I thought it was nothing too extreme. So, I began to have a false sense of confidence in my ability to throw a few back. Then we invited friends over for dinner and a round of the board game, Masterpiece. Oh Lord.

photo(1)I had a glass of wine while cooking alone in my kitchen (one glass over the course of an hour or two). I had the stereo turned up, and I was having a good time roasting chicken and vegetables and laying out snacks. Then our friends arrived and thinking I should drink some of that good vodka, I had a martini with dinner. Game time began and bottles of wine were opened. OK, maybe I opened them. I really don’t know how much wine I drank. We were having a lot of fun, refilling our glasses and I was at home, no need to drive. Then I got up to see our guests to the door and it was NOT pretty. Whooosh! The room was tippy and I was slurry. That did not feel good. I felt like I was back in college not having any idea when to stop.

Once everyone left, my head got spinning and my stomach was churning. Needing to get off my feet immediately, I fell asleep on my son’s empty bed not wanting to move my body far from the lavatory, and Philip went upstairs to sleep. Around 3:00AM, my stomach had calmed down and I joined my husband with the worst headache I have ever experienced. Staying in bed until noon the next day, I forfeited a precious day of my vacation feeling downright rotten. There was no recouping that loss.

Did I really need this lesson? I should have known better. I should have listen to my friends. I was embarrassed at how intoxicated I had gotten. Why did I do this? I guess, I can only chalk it up to this… sometimes we get over confident and have to learn the hard way, no matter how old we are. In the end, I am grateful for this drunken experience for one reason only. It made me appreciate being sober after all of those months of wanting to have a drink. The table was turned (in fact, the whole room was spinning) and the last few days I have embraced my ol’ friend abstinence and looked back at being sober in a new light.

June 12


Memories and imagination

Are powerful enemies

Ruining beautiful

Todays and tomorrows

Injured insides

Need reassurance

I run to you



July 2, 2013

I first put up this post as a nod to my sister. We used to spend hours in the car with my son, Sam traveling to Portland, Maine to see our brother, Richie. As a way to pass the time, the three of us would write these little poems which we called the “name game.” Using the letters of a family member’s name, we would compose a single-stanza verse about that person. It was a lot of fun and helped to pass the time with a young person in the car.

Recently, I used this exercise as a way to express something difficult churning within me.  As I read this entry over and over and let it live on the blog, I decided that I was brave enough to explain the reason for writing it.

It is often difficult for me when my husband travels. Spending years as a single parent (well over a decade), I am often surprised at the feelings of insecurity and lack of sturdiness that arise when Philip is away. Keeping myself busy during the day and having a cocktail or two at night help to calm the turbulence of the internal dialogue. Libations in the evening also help settle me at bedtime. Being alone in our house feels a bit scary to me at night.

During this particular period of solitude (Philip was in California for work), I became completely steeped in feelings that I have not experienced in a long time; fear of abandonment, distrust, anger and suspicion. This is dark and dirty stuff. So false, yet when engaged with these emotions, it is impossible to clear the mind. Recognizing that these are feelings based on past experiences, I tried logically to reconcile what is real and what is imagined.

This entry was my attempt to get the voice out of my head and on to paper–to make sense of what was happening inside. Once Philip arrive home, the feelings became more intermittent and eventually a state of balance returned.